If you have missing teeth then you know how much they can affect your confidence and your ability to chew properly. According to the Canadian Dental Association, about 6.5% of adults in Canada have no teeth at all. As we age, it becomes more difficult to maintain our oral health and keep all our natural teeth. Therefore, individuals try to find the best solution to replace their missing teeth. The most popular solutions are either dental implants, dentures, and dental bridges. Each solution has its benefits and drawbacks which means that it’s up to each one of us to decide what best suits our current needs.
Dental Bridges to Replace Missing Teeth
Dental bridges are dental crowns that can be held in place by teeth around your missing tooth/teeth. The bridge keeps your remaining teeth from drifting out of position. It is designed to fit your mouth, replacing the missing teeth while supporting those that remain. Fitting a bridge requires reshaping the abutment teeth and capping them with crowns to hold the bridge securely.
Advantages of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are relatively simple dental procedures that do not require bone grafting or invasive surgery. The procedure of installing a dental bridge usually requires only two visits. What’s more, the overall cost compared to dental implants is much lower.
Drawbacks of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges may have to be replaced after about 10 years and they may lose their natural-looking appearance with age. In order to install a dental bridge, you may damage the healthy teeth around the missing tooth to create the supports. Unlike dental implants, dental bridges do not stimulate the area of the jaw bone where you have a missing tooth.
Dentures to Replace Missing Teeth
Dentures are prostheses, devices, or appliances used to replace missing or lost teeth that are attached to the soft and hard tissue of the mouth. They are usually removable, although they can be fixed as well, and provide a relatively quick solution for the replacement of missing teeth. Removable dentures normally need a dental adhesive to prevent them from moving while eating or speaking.
Advantages of Dentures
Dentures, like dental bridges, are easy to install in the mouth and normally do not require invasive surgery. For individuals with weak jaws or unhealthy gums, dentures may be a better choice than dental implants. The denture procedure is also much quicker than dental implants. What’s more, after an adjustment period, your dentures look and feel natural. They can provide support for your jaw and mouth muscles which can result in a more youthful appearance.
Drawbacks of Dentures
One of the cons of dentures is a reduced sense of taste since upper dentures cover the upper palate which is associated with taste and smell. Dentures also need proper care because if they are not cleaned well, the food deposits can contribute to halitosis (bad breath) and may leave a bad taste in your mouth. Furthermore, since dentures do not stimulate the jaw bone, over time, your jaw bone will begin to atrophy and your dentures will need to be refitted or replaced.
Dental Implants to Replace Missing Teeth
A dental implant is a titanium post that replaces the roots of a missing tooth. It is surgically placed in the jaw bone where teeth are missing and then allowed to heal. As the area heals, the bone grows up and around the implant to create a strong anchor for a porcelain crown that looks like your natural teeth.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth that helps preserve your jaw bone from atrophy and function just like natural teeth. With dental implants, you also do not have to worry about your false teeth slipping or shifting, as with dentures, and they do not require adhesives to keep them in place. Unlike dentures and bridges, you will not have to limit what you can eat and chew. Moreover, dental implants can be treated and maintained the same way as natural teeth. Initially, they may be more expensive than the alternatives but as they can be a long-term solution, in time they can prove to be cost-effective.
Drawbacks of Dental Implants
Dental implants require that you have a relatively healthy and strong jaw bone otherwise you may need bone grafting and other surgical procedures. It’s also recommended that you are in good physical health and do not smoke to ensure that you can recover fully from dental implant surgery. Additionally, the dental implant procedure takes more time and is initially costlier than the alternatives.
If you have any questions and would like to speak to someone about dental bridges, dentures and dental implants in Langley, BC, our dentists at Langley Dental Centre can help you find the solution that’s right for you. Book your consultation to find what your options are.